Ortiz Parrilla Red River Campaign
ORTIZ PARRILLA RED RIVER CAMPAIGN. In late summer, 1759, a Spanish troop led by Diego Ortiz Parrilla undertook a campaign to punish the Norteños (northern tribes) for their destruction of Santa Cruz de San Sabá Mission. The march culminated early in October in a battle at a fortified Taovaya (Wichita) village near the site of present-day Spanish Fort. Ortiz Parrilla, a dragoon colonel and commandant of San Luis de las Amarillas Presidio (San Sabá) lost nineteen men killed, fourteen wounded, and nineteen by desertion. Although the Spanish defeat has been exaggerated by Ortiz Parrilla's detractors, the expedition failed in its objectives of taking the Indians' position and vindicating Spanish arms. It spelled the end of the missionary effort on the San Saba River. More important, it demonstrated the significant changes that had occurred on the frontier: the volatile combination of Spanish horses and French firearms had given the natives a capability in warfare that came close to matching the Spaniards' own. Such an outcome set the stage for the reshuffle of frontier defenses that followed the Marqués de Rubí's inspection some years later.